“This should be the goal: that a firm cannot trade for its own account in securities it is selling to its customers. That’s roughly what Volcker is trying to say. You have brokers and you have dealers. You don’t have broker-dealers. Even in my day it was shocking the extent to which my job as salesman was to get bond traders or derivatives traders out of their shitty positions and use the customers as the dumb money. It’s a perversion of how capital markets are supposed to work. If you just do what I said, the end result is a far less profitable financial system – one that no longer has the status it has now, one where the best students from MIT and Harvard aren’t flocking there. It’s not a sign of a healthy society when the smartest people want to be in a middleman role.”
To catch the entirety of Michael Lewis’ Interrogation, out in ai5000 Magazine in early April, click here.
aiCIO Editorial Staff